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Exclusive interview with Edwin Chuah, Tekken Community Manager for Bandai Namco UK

Edwin talks ESL UK Championships, UK players, and UK Tekken scene.

Recently I attended the UK Tekken 7 Championship Qualifier in Manchester which was hosted by tournament organizers MBA Gaming and Bandai Namco UK. I sat down with Tekken community manager Edwin Chuah to chat about the current UK Tekken 7 championships and what’s in store next for the UK Tekken scene.

Thanks for meeting with us! We know you’ve been planning the UK Tekken Championship Series for quite some time now. What was the biggest challenge you had to face when setting up something of this magnitude?

It’s been in the works since last year, however as I was working really closely with the individual communities across different regions, I actually wasn’t allowed to say when the release date was until it was actually announced, so it was very hard to tell them “we’re gonna do a pre-launch UK Tekken Championship.” The thing was that we were timing it with Hypespotting, which is in April, so I couldn’t actually say it was pre-launch.

Ah yes, because the game’s release date wasn’t announced until January.

Yeah, I wasn’t allowed to say the championships were pre-launch because if I did it would’ve given away that the game wouldn’t be out yet. We announced the release date in January and the championships began in April, so we had to turn it around quickly and make sure all the venues were sorted and make sure the timings all align. Luckily it all worked out really well. Between Hypespotting and the finals in Comic Con in May we now have events every weekend, and then the week after Comic Con, the game is out.

Wow, so that was a lot to do between the announcement of the release date and the beginning of the tour.

It was a short time to turn it around with so many parties involved, but we got there and I’m really happy that so far the results have been incredible.

From your point of view, how has the community reacted to the ESL UK Tekken 7 Championship Series?

The community has been really positive so far, which is great. It’s also many people’s first time seeing and playing Tekken 7. Part of the reason we do this is to bring local communities together to see what Tekken 7 is all about, but to also get them actively involved in the fighting game community. It’s actually the first time for a lot of people to see the fighting game community in action. At this event, in particular, I know around only a third of the people here, and most of them honestly are new faces who are experiencing an event like this for the first time.

Yeah, and that’s exactly what you want, more people getting involved and seeing the scene grow!

Yeah exactly. They now know there will be more events after the game is out. Hopefully, they will stick around and become regulars. It’s been the same across all of the events so far. I’m really happy with the reactions so far.

Can we talk about the plans for after Tekken 7 is released? Any similar events planned?

Provided by Bandai Namco, stay tuned for more information! As for local communities across the whole of the UK and the world, there will be tournaments and events in local areas once the game is out. As long as the community continues to support their local tournament organizers, the events will continue for years to come.

So, can we expect any surprises for the finals at London Comic Con later this month?

Stay tuned!

There have been some strong players who’ve qualified for the Comic Con finals already. Do you have any particular players in mind who you think can win the title?

Everyone who’s qualified so far is really good, and honestly, so far anyone could take it. What surprised me the most was Kaneandtrench. He won the King of Iron Fist UK qualifier last year, so he put his name out there as one of the best players in the UK for Tekken 7 specifically, but he had a run for his money at grand finals at Hypespotting against TheTruth.

Yeah, he had to change from his main, Yoshimitsu, to Claudio!

Yeah, so that was really surprising for me to see. He pulled through in the end, but TheTruth has shown he can take down Kaneandtrench. So honestly it’s anyone’s game!

I definitely agree with you there, the competition is really strong! 
You pretty much just answered my next question! (laughs) Is there anything else that surprised you during the series so far?

(Laughs) Yeah, TheTruth surprised me! But what else did surprise me was that he didn’t make top 3 in Dublin after his performance in Scotland (Hypespotting), where he came second and was really, really good. He struggles against certain players, so it really is anyone’s game. I look forward to the remaining events and seeing more people surprise me as the championship continues!

It’s been really good so far, and the reception both in the venues and on the streams have been really good. Everyone’s definitely hyped!

Yeah it’s really great!

After speaking to Edwin, it’s clear how hard he’s worked to deliver these much wanted UK Tekken events. This was something that the community has been after for quite some time. The events have been the perfect opportunity to bring the UK community together and it has been great to see people getting involved in their local fighting game communities.

A huge thank you to Edwin for sitting down with us for the interview, despite how busy the event was.

Have you been to, or plan to attend any of the remaining UK Tekken dates? Let us know.

Advocate of the Tekken community and self-proclaimed Queen of the Iron Fist Tournament, gaming has been a main hobby of Zoë's since she was a kid. Her favorite genres are fighting and action/adventure. Her other passions include football (soccer - Liverpool FC to be exact!), fashion, music, and eating far too much pizza! Lastly, one name for you - Nina Williams.


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